Utah Grizzlies vs Idaho Steelheads: Let it Snow

On a snowy Wednesday night after a lengthy road trip, the Grizzlies got a number of reinforcements from Colorado to bolster a very injury depleted roster. Forward Grayson Downing and defenseman Sergei Boikov made their Utah debuts, while Julien Nantel returned as well. Kevin Carr made the start against the Idaho Steelheads.

First Period

  • Downing looks like he’s gonna be fun to have around.
  • Nantel wastes no time at all getting back on the board! 1-0 Utah 2:09 in from Turner Ottenbreit and Josh Dickinson!
  • Getting two penalties together is not ideal. Good kill though.
  • The beginning of that power play started well. It did not end that way though.
  • Well, we get a redo!
  • Jake Marchment did not miss that tip in by much.
  • Teigan Zahn to the box with about six to go. Utah did a good job giving the Steelheads trouble getting out of the zone.
  • Idaho ties it up and Zahn and Keegan Kanzig drop the gloves.
  • Josh Anderson has had a couple of nice defensive moves this period.
  • Shots are 12-6 for Utah, but we’re tied 1-1.

Second Period

  • Power play Utah 17 seconds in.
  • Liking Boikov’s play. Very calm and polished.
  • Not a great power play so far. Not a lot of urgency, and Idaho has two shots to Utah’s one thus far.
  • Very nice move by Richart to take away the puck just above the blue paint.
  • Another pair of nice plays by Anderson. He’s looking very good.
  • Not wild about how much defensive zone time there has been in the first five minutes.
  • Yeesh, that was close.
  • The second half of this period has been much better for Utah.
  • THAT’S TWO FOR NANTEL!! Walters with the pass from the boards to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead on the power play! Dickinson gets the second assist!

  • Both 11s run afoul of each other. Looked like Richart might have gotten clipped in the face by Dahl’s skate.
  • Kanzig looks like he’s trying to take on Ottenbreit and Anderson at the same time there.
  • Good penalty kill there. Not even a shot allowed!

Third Period

  • HOW DID THAT GO IN?? Away, WHO CARES. GOAL ECONOMOS.
  • Walters did not miss that net by very much short-handed.
  • Back to the power play Utah goes.
  • Nantel’s hat trick bid didn’t miss by much.
  • Anderson and Moroz tangle.
  • Anderson with a big hit, Nantel with a nice rush up the ice, and the crowd appreciates both.
  • The Grizzlies have had a couple of really long delayed power plays this game.
  • WALTERS CAPITALIZES ON SOME BEAUTIFUL PASSING FROM HENKE AND NANTEL.
  • Grizzlies win 4-1!!

Anderson had a very good game defensively, and was named defenseman of the game, while Nantel (2G, 1A), Dickinson (2A), and Economos (1G) were the game’s three stars, though Ryan Walters (1G, 1A) could easily have be named one of the stars as well.

Additionally as mentioned, Downing and Boikov are both going to be great additions to the Grizzlies for however long they’re here. Downing is a very good two-way forward, and as mentioned, Boikov is polished and quite defensively sound. Carr went 19/20 for his 15th win of the year, and the Grizzlies are now tied with Idaho for first in the Mountain.

These two teams will face off two more times this weekend on Friday and Saturday in the continued battle for divisional supremacy.

Photo courtesy of Action Sports Photography.

Utah Grizzlies @ Wichita Thunder: Caught in the Rain

Once again short-handed, the Grizzlies looked to complete their road trip on a high note with a sweep of the Thunder

First Period

  • Wichita seems determined to throw everything at the short-handed Grizzlies. Shots are 6-2 less than seven minutes in.
  • Ryan Walters draws the first power play, which is great, since they’ve spent rather a lot of time in their own zone. Hopefully this changes things.
  • Mike Economos bats in Gage Ausmus’ rebound, and we’re up 1-0! (And the shots are now 7-6!)

  • I’d say that changed things alright!
  • So of course Caleb Herbert heads to the box. But that’s killed off just fine!
  • Economos in there for a second goal, but no dice. Lots of Utah pressure past the half-way mark in the first.
  • Turner Ottenbreit and a couple of Thunder players go into the net behind Kevin Carr.
  • Both teams seem to be having trouble holding onto the puck as we pass the fifteen minute mark.
  • Oh geez. The last thing we need tonight is for Ottenbreit to be broken.
  • He seems fine.
  • A couple of important saves from Carr to end the period.

Second Period

  • Huge crowd around the Utah net, and Ausmus is headed to the box for cross-checking.
  • Another one of those collective ice is slippery moments.
  • Richart has blocked at least two big shots this period. He goes off gingerly. But fortunately, he’s back.
  • Oh bah. Wichita scores at 10:13.
  • WALLY THINKS TIE GAMES ARE RUBBISH, AND SCORES NINE SECONDS LATER.

  • Verpaelst has clearly been trying to start something. It hasn’t worked very well, and Raats declines to retaliate.
  • ECONOMOS WITH THE SNIIIPEEEE!! Henke and Maxwell get the assists on the power play!
  • Utah has two goals on three shots this period.
  • MAKE THAT THREE GOALS ON FOUR SHOTS.
  • We’re also on double hat trick watch, as Walters picks up his second of the period.

Third Period

  • Everyone bites on the wrap-around, and Wichita cuts the lead in half.
  • And Ottenbreit is stung again.
  • And now Anderson. This is fine. Everything is FINE.
  • Ottenbreit appears to be hockey fine if nothing else.
  • Anderson too.
  • On the other hand…has Richart played a shift this period???
  • Oh, there he is. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Wichita cuts the lead down to one.
  • Honestly, I just want the team to get out of this without losing another player to injury…
  • Really.
  • Really???
  • UHG Tie game.
  • Carr with a diving save, and Jakob Stukel is looking to the sky in frustration.
  • Walters with a bid on one end, Wichita with a bid on the other, and we’re off to OT.

OT

  • WELP.
  • Wichita finally beats the Grizzlies this season.
  • 5-4 Wichita.

Walters and Economos both had great games, and Walters was named second star.

This loss was especially galling considering that everything was well under control heading into the final five minutes of the night. However, on the bright side, the Grizzlies picked up three of four points despite playing on back-to-back nights with only 14 skaters, and nine of twelve points on the road trip.

The Grizzlies return home for a lengthy home stand, where they will face Idaho and Kansas City.

Photo courtesy of Rob Church.

 

Utah Grizzlies @ Wichita Thunder: Silencing the Thunder

With Kevin Davis, Tim McGauley, and Joe Cannata all up in Colorado, and Jack Walker and Austin Carroll out with injuries, the Grizzlies were very, very short-handed in Wichita, even with the addition of returnee Mitch Maxwell. Kevin Carr got the start, and Joey Raats drew back in at forward against Gabriel Verpaelst, Ralph Cuddemi, and the Thunder.

First Period

  • Mitch Maxwell starting strong.
  • “Marchment allegedly on side.”  That’s definitely putting it generously.
  • It would definitely be advisable to stop passing the puck to Thunder players, boys…
  • Josh Dickinson is a power play drawing machine.
  • WALTERS WITH THE POWER PLAY GOAL. Jake Marchment continues to pile up the points.
  • Shots are 6-1 for Utah with half a period gone. That may be pretty good.
  • Carr spins through the crease, but somehow still has the puck.
  • Walters definitely wants another goal. He’s had a couple looks up close since he opened the scoring.
  • Oh great. Dickinson taking a puck to the face is the absolute last thing we need.
  • I guess if we can’t have Carroll on the ice, looking sharp on the bench is the next best thing? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • GEEEEZZZZ that goal-mouth scramble almost ended very badly.
  • However, all’s well that ends well.

Second Period

  • Ausmus with a great move there to take the puck away on a one-on-one there.
  • Oooh that backhander didn’t miss by much.
  • The Thunder are pressing now.
  • Zahn to the box.
  • Dickinson to the box…minute plus of five-on-three….
  • What a kill. Especially the end there, what with the Carr save, the pipe on a wide open net, and a huge clear from Richart to swipe the puck out of the blue paint.
  • Wichita should get a penalty just for making us listen to the entire Baby Shark song.
  • Walters with more nice shots there.
  • Kevin Carr has been stellar. Unfortunately, so has Ty Rimmer.

Third Period

  • Gotta love all the praise for Ausmus! He’s just been playing really well lately.
  • Verpaelst giving us a power play. Definitely a Grizzlies sleeper agent! 😛
  • ECONOMOS WITH THE POWER PLAY GOAL.
  • Tyson, that is not how you don’t talk about the goalie thing-that-must-not-be-named-until-it’s-completed!!!!!
  • Raats with the first even-strength goal of the game!!
  • Less than a minute later, Herbert puts the puck on Rimmer, and Walters taps it into the wide open net!!!!!! There’s that second goal!
  • Wowwwwwwwwww that was quite the melt down for Wichita.
  • The Grizzlies definitely don’t look like a team with only fourteen skaters dressed.
  • TYSON. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.
  • Mitch Maxwell making his return felt by dropping the gloves!
  • Oh geez. Wichita is taking out their own guys by accident. That’s never good.
  • KEVIN CARR SHUTS THEM OUT.
  • Grizzlies win 4-0, shots 34-31 in their favor!

Kevin Carr was the well deserved first star of the game with his third shutout of the year, and Walters got second star with two goals and a team leading nine shots. Mike Economos was named third star, while Jake Marchment had his fifth straight multi-point game, and Eric Freschi also had two assists.

If the Grizzlies continue to be this short-handed, today’s game will be the biggest test of the road trip as they look to remain undefeated against the Thunder this season. It will also be interesting to see if Tim Branham goes with Carr, or if Christian Frey will get his first start.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.

Utah Grizzlies @ Tulsa Oilers: March-ing Onward

In game two of the Tulsa series, and the battle for second place in the Mountain Division, the roster remained the same, as did the lines.

First Period

  • Eric Freschi getting manhandled in the corner, not sure it’s penalty worthy, but not sure it’s not penalty worthy…
  • Ick. Not sure about that defensive coverage there. 1-0 Tulsa.
  • Good response from Utah though. Strong shift in the offensive zone.
  • Taylor Richart with a nice move to strip the puck from an Oilers player and start a rush up ice.
  • Josh Dickinson draws a power play!
  • MCGAULEY GOAL!! Fitzpatrick bit on Caleb Herbert, and Tim McGauley made good on the cross-crease pass.
  • Teigan Zahn taking his sweeeeeeet time behind the Utah net, haha.
  • Another Utah power play, but it’s negated.
  • Jake Marchment and Ryan Walters counter-punching short-handed is always great to see.
  • Taylor Richart is free with no official shots allowed on the PK!
  • Mike Economos with the hustle.
  • They’ve flipped the script in shots tonight, sort of. After 20 shots are 20-7 for the Grizzlies, score 1-1.

Second Period

  • LOTS OF PENALTIES.
  • Or just one. That’s anticlimactic. On the other hand, we’ll take the power play.
  • Austin Carroll doing what he does best, creating chaos. A little too much chaos there though, and he’s off to the box.
  • Jack Walker to the room. That’s not a good sign. Hopefully he’s back for the third…
  • Carroll drops the gloves with Scott Moldenhauer!
  • Dickinson draws a double minor.
  • Herbert takes a roughing call after a kerfuffle around the Tulsa net.
  • Marchy doing what he does best, scoring on Tulsa. It was a very nice backhand.
  • Utah’s been pretty aggressive overall so far.

Third Period

  • Another power play drawn by Dickinson.
  • Richart falls over, and still makes the play.
  • You get a high-stick, you get a high-stick! EVERYBODY GETS A HIGH-STICK!
  • ECONOMOS WITH A BREAKAWAY. No goal, but he does draw another power play.
  • Oh geez. Short-handed goal for Tulsa ties it up.
  • And the Oilers are pressing.
  • I swear, every game Economos seems to have gotten a step or two faster.
  • ERIC GIVES US A FRESCHI LEAD.

  • (Sorry, so not sorry)
  • Oh god. Cannata…be ok…
  • At the very least, Cannata is hockey ok, so that’s good news.
  • Walters with the latest of a series of good shots he’s had this game.
  • RICHART SCORES.
  • Wait. No he doesn’t. And Zahn is down, and Zahn takes a penalty. WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING.
  • And now Richart for delay of game.
  • Internal screaming.
  • Empty net for Tulsa…
  • More internal screaming.
  • Marchment with the face-off win, Ausmus with the clear…
  • EMPTY NETTER FOR JAKE.
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 4-2!!!

Freschi (the game winning goal and six shots) and Herbert (two assists, six shots) were named first and second stars of the game, though Marchment certainly could have been a star as well, what with his two goals (granted, one into an empty net), and several crucial late-game face-offs. Cannata also played well, making 25/27 saves. Utah now stands tied with the Oilers for second in the division, though they hold four games in hand on their rival. They trail Idaho by only one point, and have a game in hand on them as well.

Now the Grizzlies head to Wichita for the final two games of the road trip.

Photo courtesy of Josh Pinnau.

Utah Grizzlies @ Tulsa Oilers: Holding the Fort

With the returns of Kevin Davis and Joe Cannata, the blue line got a bit crowded, and possibly as a result, Nolan De Jong sat this one out.

First Period

  • Good start for Utah, equally good start for Evan Fitzpatrick, unfortunately.
  • Fortunately, Cannata is looking good too.
  • Breakaway for Herbert, Fitzpatrick makes the save. Again.
  • That was a very nice move by Carroll to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
  • Tim Mcgauley clearly has some beef against Tulsa! His second fight of the season comes against Alex Kromm! He had not yet begun to fight, but the refs break it up.
  • The play is quite physical already.
  • Tulsa has put their foot down, and has doubled up on shots in the back half of this period.
  • MARCHY ON THE POWER PLAY.
  • Good first period for Utah, despite getting outshot 12-5. Cannata definitely has had to be sharp.

Second Period

  • Good kill to open the period. McGauley, especially, was strong.
  • …Well…that’s not a great goal.
  • 15-5 are the shots for Tulsa, that’s not ideal either.
  • Between Walker’s wheels, and some saves by Cannata, we’ve got another good kill.
  • Shots are now 20-8 for Tulsa…They’ve been able to set up in Utah’s zone for long stretches throughout the game.
  • Cannata is still looking strong, which is probably why this game is still tied.
  • Taylor, the puck is supposed to go into the net, not you!
  • Another good penalty kill to end a period.

Third Period

  • Cannata turns aside a short-handed odd-man rush.
  • That’s the second power play Ottenbreit has drawn this game.
  • Josh Anderson scores his first pro goal to put the Grizzlies up 2-1!!
  • Marchment is a fight away from a Gordie Howe hat trick, and McGauley just needs a goal for one.
  • Everyone from both sides is falling over in the Utah end. Turns out ice is super slippery! XD
  • Oilers’ net is empty…
  • Oh Richart did NOT miss the empty net by much.
  • GRIZZLIES WIN 2-1!!!

Jake Marchment and Joe Cannata were named first and second star of the game. Utah looks to complete the visit with a sweep before heading to Wichita.

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Broussard and staff.